Friday, December 23, 2016


Its called "Christmas" not "Giftmas", but I do not think it would take much to get it changed! It sure seems like people are moving in that direction more and more these days. Let me state my position to make sure there is no misunderstanding. Yes, I like Christmas gifts, and no, I do not think we need to eliminate Christmas gifts. I would like us, however, to think for a bit about Christmas gifts. What are they for? Why do we exchange gifts at Christmas?

For many the gift exchange part of Christmas is so that they can get more gifts themselves. "Give more to them so they will give more to you." I have only heard one person ever actually speak in these terms, but I have seen many people behave in these terms! I am not trying to take away anyone's enjoyment of a Christmas gift, but I do want to help everyone keep the gifts in proper perspective; especially the children.

Gifts in ancient Jewish culture were a sign of joy. When someone was happy about something they enjoyed giving a gift to someone else (think of the image behind, "another round of drinks for everyone, and put it on my tab!"). Yet, when we focus more on the gift than on the giver, we end up thinking that the gift itself is the main thing, rather than the joy that is behind the gift.

I am one of those people who enjoys giving gifts more than receiving gifts (every year my family asks "what do you want for Christmas" and I have to say "I don't know"). What I really like the most is seeing the joy in someone else's face when they receive a gift they really were hoping for. For me, I need to make sure that I keep the focus on the reason for the gift as well, because I can easily slip into a prideful joy in my own giving.

Whatever your tendency, let us all remember The Source of our joy. Jesus Christ Almighty is the One and only source for joy. Everything else falls short, and does not last. To everyone reading this, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas--that means I wish for you to have joy in Christ, Who is the foundation of Christmas in and of Himself. God bless you!